The release of Exchange Server 2007 looms large, and migration is on the minds of many Exchange administrators. But before you can even start to plan a migration, you need a key piece of information: how much migration will cost. Azaleos, a provider of managed email solutions, is providing a free tool to make that task easier.

“Many customers don’t have good understanding of how much they’re spending on running their email environment,” says Azaleos CTO Keith McCall. To address what it perceived as IT pros’ need for accurate Exchange total cost of ownership (TCO) information, Azaleos commissioned Osterman Research to develop the tool, called Microsoft Exchange Cost Calculator, by using cost and configuration data from Azaleos’s customers. Azaleos offers two versions of the tool: a simple version, which you can access directly on Azaleos’s Web site, and a richer-featured version, also free, which you can obtain by filling out a contact form.

In keeping with Azaleos’s “email as a utility mantra,” says McCall, the Exchange Cost Calculator resembles a tool that some utility companies provide to help you project your energy costs. “The tool breaks down the components of migration. It asks you questions such as what’s your migration timeline and calculates items such as the costs of a hardware refresh \[i.e., that you’ll need for the migration\] and growth of storage over time,” he says. The full version of the calculator is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and users can view the macros and formulas used in the TCO calculations. To obtain the Exchange Cost Calculator, go to http://www.azaleos.com/costmodel.html.